JAJ: Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen January kicks off tomorrow with:

Sense and Sensibility (1811)

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love - and its threatened loss - the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

which will run until January 14th.

Please be aware comments on this post will contain spoilers for those who wish to discuss during their reading. If you don't want the book to be spoiled, wait until you've read it to comment and discuss!

Happy reading!


  1. I'd better start reading!!!

  2. Yay! I'm starting on Thursday! I can't wait.

  3. I'm starting it today! Hopefully I will actually FINISH a Jane Austen book for the first time!!

  4. So far I've read two chapters... I'm behind, but it could be a lot worse!

    It's only know that I've realised that I have absolutely no idea what this story was about! Looking forward to discovering more as I continue.

  5. I've only managed Chapter One!

    I'm sure once I continue reading I'll get into the appropriate frame of mind, but with only reading the one chapter, I've found all the commas to be a bit of an overload! Is that just me?!

  6. I'm upto chapter 5 - worked out that i need to read on average 22 pages a day to get to the 14th and the end of the book!

    I have to keep underlining or noting down the words that I don't understand! Like moiety

  7. Moiety is a great word! To do with Feudal land ownership? I know the word from Anthropology, but I'll clarify that once I get beyond Chapter One! :p

  8. I'll have to blog all the words i dont get and then all the Jane Fans can come and post the definition ehhe

  9. I find I am enjoying it so much more this time around. It was always my least favorite of Austen's books but I think the rank may change.

  10. OK I'll give it a shot :)

  11. I'm in part 2 now and loving every second of it. I forgot how drastically different Eleanor and Marianne were. Much like me and my older sis, lol.

  12. I'm on chapter 22 now, and LOVING it! I didn't think I was going to be able to get into this book, and now I keep wanting to watch the movie again, because I think they portrayed some people very unfairly.

  13. I'm liking it much better the farther I get into it. I still have a lot more to go, but I should be able to read a lot this weekend with the snow storm coming.

    Jossie Posie- I agree, they are so much me and my younger sister is uncanny.

  14. I've finally progressed beyond Chapter One, so am hoping to get S&S finished soon!

    I'm just getting my head around all the characters, but I think my trouble with the "classics" is I wrongly compare the themes/ideas to the modern world. I should stop that!

  15. Hi Elle!

    Sense and Sensibility is my favourite Austen novel and one of my favourite ever books. :)

    I was wondering, maybe we could do like a chick lit book club? But not like a group read, but where we read the books BEFORE hand, (maybe pick a book lots of people have already read), and then discuss it on a particular day or over a weekend, and a different blog could host each time. or something like that.

  16. Hi Amy,

    Why do you like S&S so much? Share! :0)

    As for a chick lit book club, great idea! I'm sure there are lots of us who have all read the same books, so it's definitely feasible. I'll have a think and get back to you properly about that! :D

  17. Well, where do I start?

    I think it's the humour mainly - I love the ridiculous characters, especially Lady Middleton, Mrs Palmer, Mr Robert Ferrars and how he talks of cottages, I love the scenes such as when they go to visit Mrs Ferrars.

    I know all the above sounds rubbish and I'm not really being very articulate, but I don't know if I can mention spoilers. There are so many different lines in it that I love. There are also so many amusing episodes, such as the Steele sisters always sucking up to everyone. The first chapter or so is quite tough going, but after that it's great.

    I also think Elinor's heartache is very movingly portrayed.

    I don't know, I just love it, it's probably the most light hearted and yet the most serious of Austen's novels, if that makes sense! It really shows how awful society was, but there's always that comic element.

  18. Hi everyone :)
    I had a hard time getting into it, but I'm about 3/4 in and starting to like it. It makes me laugh, I think the characters are interesting, they are quite funny and even though the setting is late 18th/early 19th century I fell connected to them. They are really just girls trying to find love and while the way about it is different and the societal pressure really it is just another amazingly well written love story.

    I know reading it at first, I haven't read something for fun that has this type of language in a while (history books, no problem) so getting used to the language and way of writing took me a bit of time.

    Can't wait to finish and see what everyone else thinks!

  19. @ Lucy -

    now I keep wanting to watch the movie again, because I think they portrayed some people very unfairly.

    I don't think I've ever seen a TV/film adaptation of S&S (that I recall)! Who do you think has been portrayed unfairly?

    @ Amy -

    but I don't know if I can mention spoilers

    Yep, spoil away! What are your fave lines as well?

    @ and her heart it is in ireland - I'm finding that everytime I put it down, it takes a few chapters to get back into the flow of things - I start to enjoy it more though when read large chunks at a time.

    Hopefully more people should be finishing S&S soon and commenteing, as it's P&P from Thursday! I'm up to Chapter 32, but I plan on finishing it today! :0)

  20. I've finished it! :0)

    I have to say, what struck me reading the ending, is why did Austen bother including Margaret as the youngest sister seeing as she's literally mentioned only in the last paragrah of the first and final chapters - the story is about Marianne and Elinor - why include her!? There was no point mentioning her, right?

    They are really just girls trying to find love and while the way about it is different and the societal pressure really it is just another amazingly well written love story.

    That definitely struck me reading the last part of it. I'm not sure which is worst - modern day dating or courting in Austen's time! Both have their complexities it seems! It also amazed me throughout how they keep the confidences of others!

    Has anyone else finished? Have any thoughts?

  21. I'm still reading, but I have no other plans today except to finish S&S. Hopefully I can do it! I'm loving it so far. :)

  22. YAY! I finished it on my lunch today and I really liked it (once I got into it).

    Elinor's character really drove me crazy! After finding out Edward is engaged (from Lucy herself) and then keeping it a secret and pretending everything is ok... I guess I just don't understand why/how she married him after everything he put her through. I related to her character (and Marianne's) with the whole surprise the guy I like is engaged to someone else. I had a bf cheat on me for 5 months without either of us knowing about each other (long distance) and her and I became friends after it all. But she just forgave him as if nothing happened!
    And also at the end, after Willoughby came to tell Elinor the truth, how she kept referring to him as "poor Willoughby" I just couldn't get why she was saying that. He chose to marry the woman he didn't love as much for money. He was the one who made the decision. Why make him seem like the victim.

    Thinking about it though, I would much have today's dating then this style. So much then was based upon class/money and to me that is a central theme of the novel.

    Elle - I agree, why even have the third sister, she is mentioned like three times...

    Can't wait to hear all the other responses :) And now I def want to see one of the movies just to compare.

  23. I have to say I'm surprised how much I'd forgotten, as I've seen the movie so many times since reading the book at school, the book is (I guess, obviously) so much more complex and detailed, and it's really the little characters who make it. Saying that, I thought the Emma Thompson / Ang Lee film was the best Austen adaptation I've seen, I did love it. Now that I've read it a second time I am eager to see the film again and compare!

  24. I love this book. Actually all Jane Austen so I got really excited when I found this on 20somethingbloggers! My only problem with the story is at the end when Marianne is referred to as Colonel Brandon's "reward". It just didn't feel right to me...although I'm very happy with the idea of them falling in love etc etc...what do other people think?

  25. I have to say, I don't agree with the implications of love in Austen's books like Marianne being CB's "reward" but I guess they *were* different times. I am definitely a modernist in some ways and this is one of them! I would hope "reward" implies something different back then to what it implies to us ...

    Glad you found us, Leafy Lady! :0)

    @ Daisy - Yes, I think I need to see the film too! :0)